Things You'll Need
Working on a roof can be dangerous. Use proper scaffolding and safety equipment whenever doing roofing projects.
The ridge cap, the course of shingles on the very ridge of the roof, can be made from available 3-tab shingles. Two simple cuts create three pieces that can be used to finish the shingle project. There are some simple techniques to follow when attempting this project.
Finishing the Roof Shingles
Continue shingling up both sides of the roof until a row of shingles from each side of the roof extends over the peak of the building. Nail these rows of shingles near the peak of the roof on both sides, overlapping the peak.
Confirm that the ridge cap shingles will cover the nails of the overlapping shingles. Create at least one ridge cap shingle by cutting a 3-tab shingle at the slot. Use a utility knife and a straight edge to make the cut.
Place the ridge cap over the peak to confirm that the ridge cap will cover the visible nails of the last course of shingles. If the ridge cap does not cover the nails, another course of shingles may need to be added. For this course, you may need to remove part of the top of the shingles to keep them from extending too far down the other side of the roof.
Installing the Ridge Cap
Cut the necessary number of pieces for the ridge cap from the 3-tab shingles. As described earlier, use a utility knife and straight edge to cut at the slots in the shingle, effectively creating three equal-sized pieces of ridge cap from one 3-tab shingle.
Determine the prevailing wind pattern for the area. The ridge cap shingles should be placed so the prevailing wind flows over the ridge caps rather than striking them on the open end of the ridge cap pieces.
Snap a chalk line at the point that will be the bottom edge of the ridge cap pieces on the street view side of the home. This will present the straightest view of the ridge cap to the street where it is most likely to be seen.
Start on the end of the ridge opposite to the prevailing winds. Align the first ridge cap piece with the end of the shingles and the chalk line. Nail on both sides of the ridge behind the area that will be covered with the next piece. Use roofing cement to attach the leading edge of this ridge cap piece to the shingles below.
Place the next ridge cap piece so that it covers the nails of the previous piece. This will place the leading edge of this piece about even with the top of where the slots were before the shingles were cut for ridge cap pieces. Continue placing ridge cap pieces along the roof ridge. Use roofing cement to fasten the last piece in place at the opposite end of the ridge.
Keith Allen, a 1979 graduate of Valley City State College, has worked at a variety of jobs including computer operator, medical clinic manager, radio talk show host and potato sorter. For over five years he has worked as a newspaper reporter and historic researcher. His works have appeared in regional newspapers in North Dakota and in "North Dakota Horizons" and "Cowboys and Indians" magazines.